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Weekend frenzy led to 1 million iPhones sold?

Apple hit its target for iPhone shipments a few weeks ahead of schedule, and one analyst thinks the price cut accounted for more than 100,000 sales last week and into the weekend.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read

Well, that was quick.

Just days after Apple kicked up a huge iPhone cloud of dust by announcing a $200 price cut, then apologized for its actions with a $100 store credit, the company announced that it has sold the 1 millionth iPhone. Apple reached that goal in 74 days, and it had allotted itself until the end of September to reach that mark.

That doesn't necessarily mean that there are 1 million iPhones in the wild. An Apple representative confirmed that the iPhone numbers are "sell-in," which means they reflect the number of iPhones that Apple has shipped to its retail outlets. Now, Apple's different from most companies in this case since it controls so much of its own distribution through Apple retail stores and its online store. But, of course, AT&T is also selling the iPhone, so there are a few iPhones out there in transit to AT&T or sitting on AT&T store shelves that could count as part of that 1 million figure.

Did a $399 iPhone help Apple reach its shipping targets ahead of schedule? CNET Networks

The timing of Monday's announcement struck some as interesting, given that one of the primary theories for the iPhone price cut was that Apple thought it was going to have trouble meeting that 1 million figure, and needed to stimulate demand. The Apple representative said the company was aware last week that it was close to the mark--and CEO Steve Jobs affirmed during the iPod event that Apple was on track--but it couldn't announce the sale of the 1 millionth iPhone until it actually happened over the weekend.

The representative declined to speculate about whether the price cut caused a frenzy of iPhone buying from Wednesday to Sunday. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster was willing, however, to estimate that Apple sold 27,000 iPhones a day following the price cut.

That figure assumes that Munster's previous estimates that Apple was selling about 9,000 iPhones a day were correct. That means the company would have sold 594,000 iPhones from the beginning of July until last Wednesday, and then after the cut it would have sold an additional 136,000 units to reach the 1 million mark on Sunday, Munster wrote in a research note Monday.

It will be very interesting to see what iPhone sales do in September and over the rest of the year in response to the lower price. Even if the estimates are wrong and Apple sold more iPhones at $599 and fewer over the weekend, it seems fairly obvious that they'll sell more iPhones at $399 than they will at $599.